Sunday, 19 August 2018
Cascade Locks (506) – Tentsite (514): 8 miles / 428 total miles walked
I woke up early, as usual and a bunch of feelings happened….anxiety, helplessness, hope, defiance. Is it a wise choice to start hiking again after only a week of rest? Can my ankle handle it? Am I strong enough? Is this possibly IT? Am I going to have to quit?
I decided to distract myself from the craziness going on in my brain with a shower and some laundry. When that was done, it was time to pack.
I exchanged my old shoes for nee ones, although I have to keep the old insoles for a while longer, since they didn’t sell any at the event.
My old pack was able to find a new home with a NOBO hiker, who was really happy about it. Pay it forward, as they say.
We said our goodbyes to Shrek, who is an amazingly generous guy, and made our way to the Bridgeside diner for one last meal together.
Hopper is staying for one more night and is kind enough to mail out my supply package in the morning. Thank you Hopper!!! 😘
After some burgers we all had some hugging to do and then Sink and I started heading back to the trail. NoMan stayed with Hopper for a while longer, but he is probably hiking out in a few hours too.
At the start of the climb, there was trail magic! Sink and I shared an iced tea and I took a Kind bar for a snack. Thank you so much to the trail angels!
What I thought was really uncool though was two day hikers showing up and taking snacks out of the cooler that was clearly labeled “Only for PCT hikers”.
I mean, you people are out for a few hours and then headed back to your car. Is it really necessary to take away this joy from hikers who have been walking for a long time?
At first the climb was pretty gentle, and if it hadn’t been for the endless stream of dayhikers, I would have made pretty good time. Sunday is not a good day for leaving a town…..too many weekend warriors about.
At the first water source I opted to rock hop instead of taking the bridge, I guess I am at home in the wild now. 😄
We were only planning on going 8 miles today, but after the water and some gradual terrain, the trail climbed 3000 feet in only 4 miles.
Yeah, I sweated a lot. but, my ankle actually held up really well. Even over rocky patches and through the climb.
We got to camp at around 7, finding spots to set up between the remains of burnt trees. The Eagle Creek fire raged here last year and has changed the look of the Columbia Gorge forever. Although the visible damage is hot quite as devastating as I had imagined, it is still sad to see so much of the lush green just gone.
Ramen and pasta for dinner, changing into sleep clothes, and watching the sunset. Can it get better than this?
It still amazes me how incredibly dirty I can get within just a few hours outside of town…..inconceivable. 😂
Early start tomorrow and hopefully another almost pain-free day.
Keeping you posted….